Children love making things and that is for a good reason! While they have fun, they also develop their expression skills, self-confidence, motor and problem-solving skills as well as their imagination – it is hard to list all the positive benefits of creation. However, due to lack of time, as parents we often do not have as many opportunities as we would like to do something creative with our children. How can you bring the joy of creation into your everyday life?
Establishing a creative zone is a sure-fire way of helping children enjoy making works of art. It can be a corner of the kitchen table, a play corner or a room, or part of the cellar, laundry room or garden. This ‘artistic space’ can also serve as the home of some basic raw materials – for example, good quality paper, paints, colour pencils, etc.
As a parent, it can be hard deciding which activity has priority over the others. There can be one, two or even more children in the family, therefore activities outside of the home place extra financial and time pressures on the parents. Some quick and simple planning can even help parents with no affinity for art to guide their child to create something every day. Here are a few tips:
- Find moments for learning every day. For example, when in the car, notice the colours of the trees, the lines in the sky and the size of the shapes around you.
- Make a list of simple art projects that you would love to try with your child.
- Save some time by carrying out two activities at the same time: For example, while you are cooking, the children can draw a picture at the table. Always keep a notebook and pencil at hand so that, when waiting, the children can occupy themselves by drawing something.
Make it fun
Art, creativity and fun always go hand in hand. Those all contribute to the child’s development, mastering of self-confidence and development problem-solving skills. When children play, they discover the freedom to make decisions. Meanwhile, they must rid themselves of the fear of making mistakes and learn how to try to start anew if something does not succeed. Therefore, play is an essential part of human learning. How can art be playful, though?
- Focus on project-based processes: Provide children with a limited amount of raw materials they can use to make what they want.
- Have them look for raw materials themselves: Send them outdoors to find materials they can use to create a composition or even a statue.
- Make it entertaining and stress-free: Do not force it if your child does not want to create anything. They will return to the project of their own volition.
Sometimes creation faces obstacles, as there are too many disrupting factors or children simply are not motivated enough. Find materials and projects that encourage and inspire them. What do they truly love doing? The materials used by children do not have to be limited to paint, paper and pencils. Look for materials that are sure to make them enthusiastic. For example, you can use edible materials (e.g., sweets) as decorations, paint with water-guns or use large stones instead of paper as a surface, recycle PET bottles and turn them into lamps, etc.
Make it a shared experience
Artistic creation does not have to be a solitary activity. Children will have more fun when creating with their friends. They become capable of expressing their emotions, voicing their ideas and having fun. If you turn art into a ‘family matter’ and set up a family art project, you can create long-term commitment in them towards creative activities and even reinforce the sense of family cohesion. You can draw family trees together or make a funny and playful set of house rules that typically apply to your family alone.
Do you regularly make art at home? Would you share your latest project?